"Curiouser and Curiouser"
Previous post "Late Night"

"It's quite a place. A place of good times and bad, of pain and growth, but in the end a place of great hope. - But if you ever do come aboard, remember one thing: No one there is exactly what he seems. But then, who is?"
G'Kar, Babylon 5

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 24-112 (Erik)
Stardate: 30152.0130

The Native American sat quietly at the small table that had been pulled from one of the walls of his room.  As luxurious as the MASQUERADE DREAMS may have been, the quarters that the ANUBIS' CO had been assigned to had been small by any standards.  The undercover Captain suspected that this had been arranged by Admiral Koniki as some sort of retribution for something the Commanding Officer had either said or done in the past.  Still the accommodations had been more than enough for Erik to be able to rest, relax and review the plentiful information that had been provided by ANI. Simplicity did have its own charms.

The core of their mission on board the luxury cruise liner had not changed; they were here to gather as much Intel as possible from as many different sources.  The events that had taken place during last night's Ball and seemed focused around Ensign Ya'Han had added a level of intrigue to their mission.  The revelations made by their Chief of Security afterwards as well as the possible presence of an older sister on board had rallied many members of the Senior Staff onto a single-minded perspective and goal.  To find this Ya'Jan and through this help both Nylaan sisters secure a long, prosperous and hopefully happy life.

Erik had not at all been surprised when he failed to find anyone by the name of Ya'Jun on the ship's guest list.  Had the woman been so easily found, Drask Pharren and others like him would have been able to locate the missing Nylaan long before now.  This left the Native American and his officers with the task of discovering the woman's potential alternate identity in order to permit them to find her, if she was indeed on board the MASQUERADE DREAMS.  Given that they had only began this investigation, it had been a fair assumption to consider that time had been very much against them.

"ANI," the Native American said as he stifled a yawn.

=/\= Yes Captain, =/\= the Avatar promptly replied, =/\= Should you not be resting at this hour? It is my understanding that most Humans require several hours of sleep to maintain a good working condition. =/\=

"Have you been talking to Ensign Mizore?" the CO chuckled, the words used by the ANUBIS' Avatar having easily come across as if they had been spoken by the ship's own CMO.

=/\= I have not, =/\= ANI confirmed, =/\= After having spoken with Ensign Ya'Han, both Doctor Mizore and Counselor Dalziel returned to their quarters without speaking to me or anyone else. =/\=

"They must have been busy with their own thoughts," the Native American figured out loud.  "Anyway, I need your help in trying to find this Ya'Jun.  It makes sense that she would not be using her real name, but given the security precautions used on vessels like this one, she would not have been able to use just any name that came to mind.  She would have needed an established identity, one that could be researched and cleared.  So I need you to access the passenger clearance files for this ship as well as any other operating within 25 light years of this location for the last seven months.  We need to find a 25 years-old or so woman who has boarded one or more cruise liners over this period, use whatever search criteria you feel may help us narrow the list down."

=/\= I will begin the search, =/\= ANI said, her usual Vulcan-like tone of voice actually sounded taken aback for a moment.  =/\= Any additional information you will be able to provide will be of great use. =/\=

"As soon as we get anything more you will be the first to know," Erik said through a gentle sigh knowing very well that the task he has sent ANI on had been one that would test the extensive capabilities of the AVATAR and ship that she had been an integral part of.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 23-101 (Ya'Han)
Stardate: 30152.0135

"Who are you?" Ya'Han demanded of the shadowy form sitting only a few meters in front of her.  Although surprised by the individual's unexpected presence, the Chief of Security had been more than ready to defend herself should the need arise.

"Don't tell me that you don't remember your old friend," the shadowing individual said, fainting hurt emotions.  "After everything that I did for you, I would have hoped that you would be happy to see me."

"I'm sorry," the Nylaan undercover Starfleet Officer said as she tried to come up with something more to say.  Given that she had never heard the name before now, it had been easy to guess that the individual had mistaken Ya'Han for someone else, likely Ya'Jun, and if he had the Chief of Security needed to play along to learn as much as she could about the possible whereabouts of her older sister.  "You startled me.  I was not expecting anyone to being in my room, plus I think I have had a few too many drinks tonight."

"You! Drink?" the man echoed with audible surprise.  "Well, guess after seven months of running and hiding it was bound to happen although I would have thought that the incident that followed your first time drinking that Benzite Bubbly would have been enough to keep you away from anything that might cause you to lose control."

Ya'Han cringed as she believed that she had made a mistake, one that could lead to whoever this unknown individual to discover that the woman standing before him had not been the one he had thought her to be.  "There were just so many people enjoying themselves, I just followed without thinking," the undercover Chief of Security added, hoping that this would be enough to convince the shadowy man.

"You have never been one to step away from good music and fun," he laughed, "That is one of the reasons why you are here and why I have come to speak to you," the man continued while remaining hidden by the shadows that filled the room.  "You need to keep a lower profile, there are people out there looking for you and I have limited resources that I can use to protect you.  The fact that you came on board the MASQUERADE DREAMS without telling me is by itself asking for trouble, there are just too many people and ways that someone can get to you here."

"I can take care of myself," Ya'Han said, only realizing after the fact that she had made the statement more as herself than as her sister would or should have.

"Yeah," the hidden man said in a dismissive tone, "I remember just how well you took care of yourself the last time.  Listen, I am here to help you because you asked me to seven months ago, but I cannot be here all the time.  I have things to take care of, people to see and deals to make.  All of these force me to travel back and forth.  You need to take things easy and keep a low profile."

"I'm sorry," Ya'Han added, sensing that the unknown individual seemed to actually care for Ya'Jun's safety in some way.  "I will do better from now on."

"Good," the unknown man said as he stood from he chair that he had been sitting in.  "If I was able to find you, the others will be able to do so as well, so be careful."

Ya'Han had been ready to say something more when she realized that the presence that had been there had somehow vanished.  "ANI, someone just left my room through some sort of transporter system.  Can you track them?"

=/\= I am sorry, =/\= the Avatar reported. =/\= Sensors did not pick up any type of energy displacement, be it from a transporter beam or otherwise. =/\=

"Well, I wasn't talking to myself," the Chief of Security huffed in frustration, not yet ready to question her own senses or sanity.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 22-004 (Eve)
Stardate: 30152.0140

The Cardassian born Counselor drew in a long deep breath as she closed her eyes and fell backwards onto her bed, her tired form happily welcoming the soft, cushioned sensation of her sheets.  Eve could only hope that everyone else from the ANUBIS had been given such luxurious rooms and that they would all rest as well as she suspected she would.

It was true that there had been a great deal of work and research to be done in regards to Ya'Han's sister and her possible whereabouts on board the MASQUERADE DREAMS, but after the lengthy talk shared between the Chief of Security and Chief Medical Officer, the Ship's Counsellor had been more than ready to call it a night.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 22-143 (Jayson)
Stardate: 30152.0140

The Chief of Operations sat on the edge of the bed and watched with great interest the woman who had accompanied him back to his room.  At first glance she could have easily passed for the ANUBIS' Chief of Security but Ensign Stark knew better.

More than once he had wanted to contact ANI but feared that any sound he made would wake his unexpected guest.  So he sat and watched, trying to understand the situation that he had found himself in while not doing anything that might risk waking the mysterious woman whom he knew nothing about, including her name.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 23-089 (Maya)
Stardate: 30152.0145

The Chief Science Officer had laid out more than a dozen PADDs on the bed on which she should have been resting in over an hour ago. With her mind filled with questions, each demanding to be answered with the greatest of urgency, the Shillian Commander had been unable to rest.  The desire and need to find the answers had been all that she could focus on, so her task had been a simple one, at least by definition.  Was Ya'Han's sister Ya'Jun actually on board the MASQUERADE DREAMS and if so what identity had she been using to avoid being recognized by Drask Pharren and others like him?

The fact that people such as the Pythron merchant were actively searching for the escaped high ranking Nylaan woman only drove the CSciO to work as fast and hard as she could.  This mystery required a rapid solution if the outcome was to be a good one for everyone involved.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 24-102 (Seska)
Stardate: 30152.0145

As a member of Starfleet's Medical Staff, Doctor Mizore had been very well aware of the importance of getting a good night's rest.  This biological requirement of most Humanoid races had been hardwired into their physiological make-up from the dawn of time, so it had not been such a hard sell for the CMO to convince herself to get into bed.

Sleep had a way of clearing one's mind and allowing them to approach a somewhat complicated situation with much greater clarity upon waking.  What Seska had not counted on had been to be unexpectedly awakened from her peaceful slumber by a strange noise that seemed to come from behind one of the walls of her room.

Under normal circumstances the ANUBIS' CMO would have dismissed this as having been a figment of her imagination, but given all that had taken place not so long ago, Seska found it rather difficult to return to her former state of rest.  The eyes of the Bajoran woman scrutinized with intensity the shadow covered walls as if expecting someone or something to emerge from behind them.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 23-002 (Andromeda)
Stardate: 30152.0150

Andromeda's gaze extended well beyond the window of her room onto the stars countless of light-years away.  Although she was biologically a half Terran hybrid, the Vulcan born woman had followed the path of discipline and logic.  As the newest member of the USS ANUBIS, Ensign T'Leia had been confronted with an inescapable reality, one that would force her to leave the past she had known behind to embrace a new and unknown future.

Of course doing so did not mean leaving the connections and people she knew behind, logic dictated that she moved on while keeping the many resources she had access to.  Locating Lady Ya'Jun would be the testing ground of her ability to do just that; finding a balance between the world she once knew and the universe that had been opened before her.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 22-031 (Shar'El)
Stardate: 30152.0155

The ANUBIS' Acting ExO / ILO had fallen prey to her fatigue despite her best efforts to remain awake so as to work on the problem at hand.  Ya'Han's revelation, the possible presence of her elder sister on board the MASQUERADE DREAMS and the fact that an undetermined number of people seemed out to find the escaped daughter of the High Sovereign of NYLA IV had made this simple mission certainly more interesting than it had been expected to be.

Now lost in a universe of dreams of her own creation, the Ullian found herself exploring places and minds that she had touched during the Black and White Ball through the memories of countless individuals.  While awake Shar'El had tried her best to make sense of the mixed up images and feelings that she had picked up on, but while asleep it had been her subconscious hope that she would find something that they would all be able to use to attain their mission's new objective.

Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Engineering Lower Deck C (Deck 28)
Stardate: 30152.0200

The redheaded undercover Starfleet Engineer knew all too well that by now she should have been in the room that had been assigned to her, and that 24-155 stood four full decks above her in the public section of the ship.  Instead, Sonja had found her way into the bowls of the MASQUERADE DREAMS, navigating through the restricted corridors meant for the ship's personnel.

At first the CEO thought that she would be able to explore a little and use some excuse as to her having lost her way to explain why she had been in a passenger restricted area.  Instead, the woman had allowed for her curiosity to drive her deeper and lower into the ship, the Engineer having found it simplistically natural for her to find her way and avoid the staff as they went about their business.

Sonja froze though when one of the panels ahead of her opened, as if pushed by a force hiding within.  Within seconds the redheaded Engineer watched as a member of the MASQUERADE DREAMS' own Engineering staff emerged from a hidden crawl space.

Alone with this unknown individual the undercover Chief Engineering Officer had been left with two possible course of actions; to follow her curiosity and investigate both the strange man as well as the passage he had used, or for Sonja to make a quite exit and retreat to room 24-155 where her assigned bed had still been waiting for their first encounter.


Francois Charette

Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer


Lt. Commander Elan Fairborn
Robotics Engineering Officer